Consumers increasingly look to cash in on loyalty programs, and a new report from business strategy adviser Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that savvy quick serves can capitalize on a data-collection strategy to ensure loyalty success.
“If you are a quick serve and don’t have [a loyalty program], you’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage,” says Dylan Bolden, a partner with BCG and co-author of the report.
According to BCG’s report, nearly 40 percent of restaurant loyalty program members increased the frequency of their visits after joining full-fledged programs, and nearly 25 percent increased the amount they spent.
To gain the most traction with a loyalty program, the report suggests brands identify rewards with low implementation costs, partner with relationship-management vendors to collect consumer data as the program grows, and use that data as a basis to determine success and future moves.
David Andreadakis, vice president of loyalty strategy for Florida-based Kobie Marketing, says a well-designed and well-executed loyalty program forms an essential part of a company’s overall marketing strategy.
“Loyalty programs give operators direct insight into what guests think about their menu items, staff, and overall quality of service before, during, and after the dining experience,” he says. “And from this collected data, operators can even evaluate the company against key performance indicators to determine how their loyalty program impacts the restaurant’s reputation.”
With more than 30,000 members, Mama Fu’s Funatics Club has been a successful loyalty program for the Austin-based Asian brand, resulting in an average ticket increase of 20 percent among members. It offers a mobile app to keep Mama Fu’s highly relevant.
“Mama Fu’s benefits from having a loyal customer base to support openings, training, new product launches, [and] program rollouts; attend tastings; and provide feedback,” says Randy Murphy, president and CEO of Mama Fu’s.
BCG research also shows that Millennials especially expect a mutual relationship with brands, making them more likely to factor a loyalty program into their purchase decision.